SK Carr, J-H Chen, WN Cooper, M Constância, GSH Yeo, SE Ozanne
The importance of the early environment on long-term heath and life span is well documented. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating these effects remain poorly understood. Male offspring from a maternal protein restriction model, in which animals are exposed to a low-protein diet while in utero and then are cross-fostered to normally fed dams, demonstrate low birth weight, catch-up growth, and reduced life span (recuperated offspring). In the current study, we used microarray analysis to identify hepatic genes that changed with age. Cell death-inducing DNA fragmentation factor, α subunit-like effector A (Cidea), a transcriptional coactivator that has been implicated in lipid accumulation demonstrated one of the largest age-associated increases in expression (200-fold, P<0.001). This increase was exaggerated ∼3-fold in recuperated offspring. These demonstrated increased hepatic lipid accumulation, higher levels of transcription factors important in lipid regulation, and greater oxidative stress. In vitro analysis revealed that Cidea expression was regulated by oxidative stress and DNA methylation. These findings suggest that maternal diet modulates the age-associated changes in Cidea expression through several mechanisms. This expression affects hepatic lipid metabolism in these animals and thus provides a mechanism by which maternal diet can contribute to the metabolic health and ultimately the life span of the offspring.